News Flash

July 29, 2015, Wednesday
  • Lacson says nothing will happen to Yolanda rehab. program if DBM won't release P 80B from Nat'l Treasury this year. 1 minute ago |
  • Lacson to question before SC in 2 weeks' time the P 424-billion lump sum in 2015 national budget. 2 minutes ago |
  • Coloma says Pres. Aquino had already mentioned SAF 44 during PMA graduation in Baguio City last March. 3 minutes ago |
  • Coloma says Pres. Aquino already delivered a nationwide address for SAF 44 on February 6 this year. 4 minutes ago |
  • Coloma insists Pres. Aquino has not forgotten the massacre of SAF 44. 4 minutes ago |
  • Sr. Insp. Ryan Pabalinas' wife Erica says Pres. Aquino seems to have abandoned the quest for justice for SAF 44. 5 minutes ago |
  • 'SAF 44' Sr. Insp. Ryan Pabalinas' wife Erica says Pres. Aquino could have at least thanked SAF 44 during SONA. 5 minutes ago |
  • 'SAF 44' Sr. Insp. Ryan Pabalinas' wife Erica laments that Pres. Aquino forgot about SAF 44 in his SONA. about 1 hour ago |
  • Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares urges Pres. Aquino to certify as urgent the Anti-Dynasty Bill. 16 hours ago |
  • Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon says Makabayan bloc stands by its actions during Pres. Aquino's SONA. 16 hours ago |
  • QC Rep. Winston Castelo says the House Ethics Cmte. should probe Makabayan bloc’s ‘unparliamentary behavior’ in session hall during SONA. 16 hours ago |
  • MMDA to hold metrowide earthquake drill on Thursday beginning at 10 am. 16 hours ago |
  • Abad says the P 3-trillion nat’l budget for 2016 is P 394-billion or P15% higher than the 2015 budget of P 2.6-trillion. 16 hours ago |
  • House Appropriations Cmte. Chairman Isidro Ungab says his committee will begin the budget hearings on August 10. 16 hours ago |
  • Budget Sec. Florencio Abad submits to the House of Representatives the proposed national budget of P 3-trillion for 2016. 16 hours ago |
  • Suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay asks CA to hasten the decision on Ombudsman’s suspension order against him. 21 hours ago |
  • 9 PNP officials bag promotions. 21 hours ago |
  • Deles hopes Congress will pass BBL by October before its members get involved in election-related activities. 21 hours ago |
  • Rep. Rufus Rodriguez expresses confidence on the passage of proposed BBL at the plenary in August. 21 hours ago |
  • Sen. Chiz Escudero also resigns from Joint Congressional Oversight Cmte. on Public Expenditures. 21 hours ago |
  • UNA Spokesman Mon Ilagan says VP Binay will deliver his own SONA any day now. 21 hours ago |
  • UNA says Aquino’s criticisms vs. Binay at SONA was 'un-statesmanlike' but they still respect the President. 21 hours ago |
  • PCCO Sec. Sonny Coloma says it was the President’s decision to make his SONA a long speech. 21 hours ago |
  • Sen. Jinggoy Estrada says his detention over PDAF charge is an example of selective justice & not gov’t drive vs. corruption. 21 hours ago |
  • Sen. Jinggoy Estrada says Aquino should not count the 3 senators’ detention as part of his administration’s accomplishments. 22 hours ago |
  • Teachers’ Dignity Coalition dismayed when Pres. Aquino did not annouce any salary hike for teachers during SONA. 22 hours ago |
  • Fmr. First Gentleman Mike Arroyo says Pres. Aquino’s report on textbooks and classrooms were all lies. 22 hours ago |
  • Fmr. First Gentleman Mike Arroyo says Pres. Aquino’s last SONA was self-serving, lacking in content & full of propaganda. 22 hours ago |
  • Fmr. First Gentleman Mike Arroyo says Pres. Aquino hit Mrs. Arroyo again at SONA because he lacked accomplishments. 22 hours ago |
  • Belmonte has no plans of castigating 7 Makabayan bloc members after they flashed anti-Aquino banners after SONA. 22 hours ago |
  • Belmonte admits he was embarassed when House Makabayan bloc booed Pres. Aquino after he delivered his SONA. 22 hours ago |
  • Sen. Chiz Escudero says he resigned from Finance cmte. chairmanship so that budget deliberations won’t be affected by talks on politics. 22 hours ago |
  • Sen. Chiz Escudero resigns as chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance. 22 hours ago |
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Congress goes on two-week recess

By Maricel Cruz | Sep. 28, 2013 at 12:02am
The 15th Congress went on a two-week recess yesterday with the House of Representative holding a marathon session to review the projects that congressmen want to be funded by the realigned Priority Development Assistance Fund.

“We will do our best to approve it tonight,” said Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, chairman of the powerful appropriations committee that is deliberating the pending General Appropriations Act of 2014.

The Senate, on the other hand, did not extend their sessions because its finance committee only completed a little more than half the projected number of hearings on the funding requirements of the national government.

The senators were also beleaguered by public demands for an explanation on the P50 million they supposedly received purportedly in connection with the removal of former chief justice Renato Corona last year.

Both the House and the Senate expect to have the bill approved on third reading before the year ends in order for President Aquino to sign the measure into law by January 2014.

Ungab said House leaders expect to approve the budget bill, or House Bill 2630, on second reading before they go on recess and will take it up on third and final reading when they resume session on Oct. 14.

“As for re-alignments, I don’t think there will be re-alignments because most of the budget is already itemized. The PDAF was scrapped and it was re-aligned into items in social services,” Ungab said at press time as congressmen deliberated on department budgets.

The portion on lump-sum funds was scheduled to be the penultimate item on the agenda and was expected to be tackled before dawn of Saturday, Ungab added.

Ungab said the House also formed a small committee that will work on proposed amendments to the Palace-proposed P2.268-trillion national budget during the recess.

Ungab confirmed that some congressmen have already filed requests for infrastructure projects to be funded by the re-aligned PDAF.

“Most of them have already submitted their proposals which we will include in the period of amendments. During the break, there will be a small committee that will collate all the amendments so that before we are able to pass it on third reading, the proposed amendments are all complete,” Ungab said.

“We expect everybody to submit [requests] because everybody wants to nominate good projects for their constituents [and] sectors,” he added.

Under the House approved budget, each congressman will be allotted P24.5 million for hard or infrastructure projects as provided for under the new proposed guidelines for the re-aligned.

Ungab maintained that the 2014 budget will deny congressmen the discretion to determine the recipients of pork barrel funds.

Instead, these funds were re-aligned to five executive agencies, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Labor and Employment.

As for soft projects, Ungab said lawmakers are not allowed to make any recommendation in behalf of their constituents as they have to follow certain mechanisms to be provided under the 2014 budget bill.

“We gave the soft portion to different departments. I understand every congressman has been informed that there are existing guidelines, policies that need to be followed. So everyone has to follow,” Ungab said. “They are only allowed to submit proposals for hard projects.”

Ungab also said that the House-approved version of the measure provides that the lump-sum appropriations under executive agencies, including the Office of the President, will be retained.

He said the government will have a hard time operating in times of calamities without the necessary funding available, stressing that natural calamities such as typhoons are unpredictable. With Macon Araneta
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